Xavier Cooks Reportedly Joining Japanese Team

After being waived last month by the Wizards, forward Xavier Cooks has agreed to join the Chiba Jets in Japan’s top basketball league (B.League), reports Olgun Uluc of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Cooks, who was born in Australia, has spent most of his professional career playing for the Sydney Kings after going undrafted out of Winthrop in 2018. After helping lead the Kings to a National Basketball League title earlier this year, the 28-year-old signed a four-year contract with the Wizards in March that included two guaranteed seasons — 2022/23 and ’23/24.

Cooks appeared in 10 games down the stretch last season with Washington, averaging 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 12.6 minutes per night. However, the team overhauled its front office in the offseason, replacing the decision-makers who initially brought him aboard.

When the Wizards faced a roster crunch this fall, with 17 players on guaranteed contracts battling for 15 standard roster spots, Cooks was one of the odd men out despite his guaranteed $1,719,864 salary, which he’ll still receive from Washington.

Cooks is set to join a Chiba Jets team that plays its home games in Funabashi, just east of Tokyo. The club – which features one other former NBA player, D.J. Stephens – is off to an 8-6 start this season in B.League play and has won all three of its games in the East Asia Super League.

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